Why master with Lucky Cat?

I am absolutely committed to the integrity of music and to the utmost customer satisfaction. My goal is to bring out the best in music, and want to make sure that I present your music in the best light. 

No if's, and's, or but's.

Simply put, I want to make sure you're happy with the results. By incorporating my experience, professionalism, and deep understanding of musics relation to technology (and vice versa), I can guarantee a competitive master that you will be happy with. 

What is Mastering?

Mastering is the final process before distribution. It is equal aspects technical and musical, and while may not be as artistically creative as the previous steps in making a song, it is absolutely integral to ensure a quality experience for the listener.

Mastering is not a formula, an algorithm, or a "set and forget" process. Rather, it is meant to make sure the artistic message is delivered through detailed attention to the nuances of music by enhancing and/or retaining certain values. Through both subjective and objective values, a master prepares musical work for consumption.

This subjective list includes but is not limited to:

   - Spectral Balance

   - Dynamic Contrast

   - Stereo Information

   - Depth of Sound

This objective list includes but is not limited to:

   - Preparing a song for its desired format

   - Ensuring Translatability

   - Providing metadata for DDP and Files

   - Checking for issues before distribution

What are your mastering services?

Audio Mastering - Boutique professional audio mastering for your music

DDP Creation - Finalizing metadata before manufacturing and distribution of CD's and Albums

Tailored Audio Solutions - Including consultation, and more, available upon request

How do I prepare for mastering?

Great question! Before you send your file over, there are a few things to keep in mind. Here is a handy check list to go through:

- Files: Stereo interleaved AIFF/WAV at the native bit/sample rate of the recording or session.  Please leave ample headroom and make sure that all files and pre production is to your satisfaction before submitting. If you used a limiter or buss processing to achieve "that sound," please make a pass with your buss processing and one without (this is mostly for limited mixes).

- Mastering Notes:  Pass along your thoughts about mixes & mastering direction.  This will be imperative to utilize as a guide to understanding what you are aiming for in mastering.  This can include how you feel about how the mixes turned out, problem areas in the mix (overall or track specific), what you’d wish the end result could be. Anything that could be clues about where the sound would ideally go next.

- Album References: Albums that may have been referenced during the tracking or mixing stage that you love (sonically).  It doesn’t have to be the same genre of music but just something you think sounds appealing and captures the sound you’re aiming to achieve.

- Limited References: Any limited or sample masters of the tracks you have been listening to.

- Final sequence/tracklisting: With correct track titles, artist name & album title, genre, and pre-gap or hidden track notes for DDP's


What are your rates?

I offer competitive rates, with professional results. My prices reflect that accordingly, starting at $150 for one song. Please keep in mind that this is for one files (main mix), but does not include recall passes if you decide to change the mix.

That said, I do offer reduced rates for EP's, Album's, and Independent Artists to fit most budgets. Head to my contact page to get a competitive estimate on your next project!

Do you offer recalls or revisions?

Yes! I offer both Recalls and Revisions. Please keep in mind that they are two separate processes and require different billing.

A Revision uses the SAME mix that was originally sent, and most revisions are on as needed basis until you are satisfied with the master!

A Recall uses a DIFFERENT mix than the original file, and all recalls are charged at 50% single rate. This is due to providing a different treatment to the song, as the spectral balance, instrumentation, and dynamic content can vary from mix to mix, and needs to be addressed accordingly... Effectively creating a new master.


When can I expect my master?

Upon submission of all files and payment, you can expect a completed master within one business week, if not sooner. If you need a master delivered within a quicker time frame, or request a revision, please contact me and we can discuss the needs of your project!


What is a DDP?

A DDP, or Disk Description Protocol, is a collection of files needed in order to produce a CD. Although not entirely necessarily for every project, if you are wishing to produce CD's "en masse", a DDP is what is necessary to ensure your music contains the necessary data to be read by ALL CD players (this is not just burning MP3's to a CD-R). For example, this ensures iTunes and other distributors will be able to grab the metadata when playing a song, or so that your car stereo fetches the correct information when you play a CD.


What gear do you use?

I use a combination of both bespoke and professional analog and digital processors that allow me to work effectively on any type of music. In addition to my custom Mastering Console, you can view a more expanded list of equipment here.